Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Back To School Social with Real and Faux Chalkboards

Cassys phone 10-21-13 4253
This fall our church held a Back to School Social for the women. I chalked this chalkboard for the entrance and we wanted chalkboards on each table since the theme was about learning and “school”. The epitome of school is Chalkboards and what better way to bring that theme through than with chalkboards but, we didn’t have a huge budget for this event so I had to think smart and find an alternative for the individual table chalkboards.
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4241Cassys phone 10-21-13 4225
I found a simple solution for the individual table chalkboards at the dollar store when I came across black foam core board. It is easy to cut with an X-acto Knife and I could create any shape I wanted for the tables. The trend is cool shapes, so I applied that to the foam core and cut out my own shapes. I got all my table faux chalkboards out of one board, so it cost me a dollar. Wahoo!!
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The same “real” chalkboard shape signs at a local craft store were $6.99 a piece so if you times that by six tables. Yikes, my budget would have been $42. For one night, one use decorations, the foam chalkboards worked out amazing and I had ladies asking me all night if they were real. Bonus!!
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Once the foam board was cut, I noticed the core was white. I wanted it black so I applied a little black craft paint on the edges so they looked finished.
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Each table got it’s own sign with it’s class title. I simply used plain ol’ chalk and doodled to create chalkboard signs. *Tip: sharpen your chalk with a pencil sharpener to get a smaller tip to add details.
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I was in charge of bringing the “d├ęcor” for the Science table. I brought a microscope, test tubes, glass beakers filled with colored water, books and finished it off with a table chalkboard that said Science.
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What school night would be finished without Milk and Cookies. We also provided healthier snacks like apples (which also went with our theme and the entrance chalkboard). The funny thing about this picture is I took it before the Milk was pulled out of the fridge and put on the table. LOL Oh well, I am sure you can image mason jars filled with milk, ladies sipping on their cute chevron red straws, talking and enjoying a cookie or apple slice.
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4238

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Custom Curtain Rods Made out of Electrical Conduit PLUS Gorgeous Striped Drapes

This bank of windows lets in lots of natural light. It’s only a bad thing when someone comes to visit at say, mid-afternoon and sits on the loveseat right where the square patch of sunshine is in their eyes. There is no way to shut the blinds since THERE IS NO BLINDS on the top set of windows. It wasn’t until my friend sat on the loveseat and we were talking, she slowly kept leaning farther and farther to the side as we continued to talk. The conversation ends, I found myself giggling when I finally figured out what she was doing….she was trying to keep her face out of the direct sunlight…and then I felt silly that I didn’t realize it sooner and help her. Bless her heart, she was too polite to say anything, LOL!  That day, I knew I needed some curtains. But, first that would mean I would need a curtain rod!
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4063
So off to Home Depot to get some curtain rods electrical conduit. Yep, that’s right. I stopped at JoAnn’s on my way home from work and they were having a 60% off drapery hardware. I bought brackets for a few dollars a piece, even the special corner bracket piece for cheap! Wahoo! Now all I needed was the rod in the middle but, I couldn’t find one my size plus, I didn’t want to pay the price of the extra long rod. So, my husband and I headed to the home depot to buy some pipe. Electrical conduit is super cheap and light weight. Like $3 for 10 feet! The 10 feet did my whole window (although we bought two incase we measured wrong, so I guess we splurged at $6 but, ended up taking one back, LOL)
The next problem this tall window posed was that no curtain (off the shelf) was going to be long enough (even “order-in” curtains only go up to 108 inches and I needed over 120 inches). Custom curtains were definitely not in my budget so I came up with the next best thing…King Duvets! Think about it. The fabric on a king duvet is super wide without any seams (most fabrics come in 45-54 inches wide and a Duvet is over 100 plus inches wide). That means, my panels will be wide enough for this large window and long enough if you take the fabric from the top and wrap under to the back. Just a little unpicking of the side seams needed! The only sewing needed was to sew a straight line.
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4110
I’ve always wanted striped curtains. I had thought up a million ways to achieve the look: sew strips together (too time consuming), paint the stripe (each line would alternate opaque with see through, not what I was looking for) or buy King Duvet’s from West Elm on sale. Ding ding ding, we have a winner. The fabric was pre-striped (just like I wanted, and in the colors I wanted).
I cut the fabric at the length I needed and hemmed the edges.
One of the panels had the button holes from the duvet closure. So, I used invisible thread and sewed the button hole closed so it wouldn’t gap and show light through it.
I hung them up and decided I needed more curtain rod clips. My husband left the electrical conduit long until I decided if I wanted it to stick out just a bit from the end or if I wanted it cut flush with the end bracket. I have since decided on a flush cut and adorning the end with antique glass doorknobs. Love me some pretty doorknobs!
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The drapes are AWESOME, AMAZING, EXACTLY WHAT I HAD BEEN DREAMING OF, MAKE ME GIDDY, LOVE ME SOME STRIPES, and help finish the room. I love that I can control the light and yet they look so stately adorning that tall bank of windows! Love!
Yeah, I finally have me my striped curtains! Now, if come to visit mid-afternoon and you have a block of sunshine in your face, I can kindly close the curtain!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thanksgiving Harvest

Our Thanksgiving was simple and my decorating stayed pretty simple too. I had decorated so much for Halloween, it was a nice little break before Christmas. My fun project for this season was designing my own copper German Glass Glitter letters for the mantle.
The letters were the perfect way to finish the mantle!
My “harvest” letters I designed and cut with scissors out of chipboard and then glittered in copper German glass glitter.
I finished them late one evening and snapped this pic. They made me giddy with delight! They were so pretty and even prettier in person. The pic doesn’t do them justice!!
I found a vintage print of turkey’s at a framing store for $1. I used vintage hangers to keep it from rolling up and to have some way to hang it on the wall. The vintage print (Someone had given the framing store a box that had belonged to their mother, a framer, and she wanted them to go and be used by another framer, so the store was selling any print for $1, which was a score for me!!) Wild Turkeys, yes please! Thanksgiving pictures are hard to find and these vintage turkey’s I loved and my husband even appreciated them (he has gone hunting for wild Turkey’s but hasn’t gotten one yet)! Maybe next year we’ll have our own wild turkey for Thanksgiving.
I chalked this Autumn saying and loved how it came out!
I finished my decorating by Chalking an few chalkboards, and called it good! Let’s give thanks!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Spark’s Flea Market 2013

Cassys phone 10-21-13 4125
Spark’s Flea Market is my absolute favorite Flea Market to go to! They have rows and rows of booths, so you can usually find what you are looking for at a great price. This year I was on the hunt for a typewriter, wood boxes and a kitchen scale.
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Brooklyn is becoming my Flea Market buddy. She loves being outside and loves hanging with us ladies! It was warm that day and we drank lots of water (as you can tell from the picture)! I also went with two of my awesome friends (we all drove together and actually fit everything in the Tahoe, it was quite the squeeze)! You remember Ruth from last year….she ended up in every one of my pictures! It became a “where is Ruth” photo fest! (The pic below is of 2012 and you can see Ruth coming out of this cute booth of primitives.)
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What is amazing about going with friends, is the great conversation for the drive, and we all were on the lookout for each other’s wish list. Karen found her chicken coop (going to be a table) at the first place we stopped! It was awesome and the whole day was a success!!
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We even adventured 10 miles up the road to WhiteCloud where their little main street is lined with vendors and the city park (AKA grassy field) is full of booths. I found an collapsible Egg crate, asked the vendor how much, when he said $3, it became my new favorite buy (it’s now holding my firewood next to the mantle, I will have to show you all soon). Collapsible Egg Crates has been one of those items, you always tend to look at but, don’t want to spend 20 to 30 dollars. $3 is more in my price range. Couldn’t be beat!!
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I ended up finding (for amazing prices, of course!) old victorian boots. They instantly looked like AMAZING witch boots for Halloween! I also found my typewriter for $25 (which is 1/4 of the price they usually go for in antique malls). It was tall upright and black…just what I was hoping for. I also found a vintage quilt, kitchen scale, door plates (to finish my chandelier, which I still need to make) a cool black frame which is on my wall of frames….and a few items that were still in the garage awaiting un-spider webbings (thus, not allowed in the house until cleaned!) but amazing none-the-less!
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4129
I didn’t get any photos of all of us ladies (sad!) so we will have to remember for next time! Because there definitely will be a next time! I love this new tradition with my friends! A great day getting dirty searching for amazing treasures!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Autumn, You went so fast!

AUTUMN!! Where did Summer go….as I type this, I am decorating for Christmas. This has been a crazy busy filled year. And, unfortunately something has had to give a little, and it’s been blogging. Not that I haven’t been doing projects (Oh NO!) It’s just the time to blog them….I haven’t found a lot of time. I want to catch up on the major ones that I’ve done. I was able to blog Halloween (how could I not…. I love that Holiday!!) but, I need to catch up a bit. To start with, I spruced up my outdoor furniture this summer. It’s an all wood set and needed some TLC.
I picked up some stain that has the poly (the protective layer) all together. My wood was dry and ready for some nourishment. It soaked in nicely. I even went right over the areas that still had a little of the golden oak color stain. The darker color went right over the top and soaked in nicely.
I finished one chair and started the next one. Such a drastic difference. It’s amazing how you look at something so long, you miss the obvious….these chairs needed some color!
I used “PolyShades” from Minwax. I did lightly sand all the wood and then wiped it down before I started.
These three pieces soaked up that whole can of PolyShade Stain. They were definitely in need of some stain and protection.
Here is our garden, growing great and producing:lettuce, lots of herbs, carrots, radishes, swiss chard, cucumbers and onions. My husband wanted the garden backed up to the lounger so it could be protected from rogue basketballs. It worked great!
Many summer days/nights were spent out enjoying the lounger. We love being outside!
This is us enjoying a pop-cycle after a family bike ride.
I love how the furniture looks fresh and new with just a little poly-shade stain. So happy with the result and they are protected for another year of enjoyment!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Countdown to Halloween Party - October 1st

I’m a bit late blogging this Countdown to Halloween Party but, I didn’t want to miss showing what a fun time we had with a simple Beginning to the Festive Halloween Season. What an absolute joy!
Hot Chocolate Floating with Ghost Peeps
Party Favors:
Wood Slices painted with Chalkboard to Keep Track of the Countdown to Halloween.
Chocolate Chips, Marshmallows and Miniature Marshmallows were offered as mix-ins to make your hot chocolate to taste! Some of the kids Hot Chocolate was VERY chocolaty!
It looks like I planned to have the kids all wearing witch and wizard hats but, it was a happy chance. I just hadn’t finished decorating (the witch hats go in a grid pattern on the wall. See HERE)
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So, It’s official we are starting our Countdown to Halloween!
And there’s only FIVE days left!


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